You Can Make A Pocahontas Family’s Christmas A Little Merrier
Marlinton, WV – You can make Christmas a little merrier for a needy Pocahontas family this year – and all it takes is filling a wish from the Pocahontas County Angel Tree. Pocahontas County Family Resource Network Coordinator Laura Young tells us all about it.
“The Pocahontas County Family Resource Network each year sets up an Angel Tree in the City National Bank and also at the Snowshoe Career Center [in Marlinton], and we put the names of low income children on those trees” says Young. “People can come in and adopt an angel, fill that Christmas order, then bring it back to those locations and drop it off, and then right before Christmas we will have this little party in the top of City National Bank and the parents can bring their children in and pick up their gifts.”
Young says the gift requests she’s seeing are for more practical things this year, rather than toys.
“Mostly this year we’re receiving a lot of requests for things like coats and snow boots and food” she says. “Last year we were able to serve those families with Angel Food orders. Well, Angel food orders are not coming into Pocahontas County this year and we don’t have that resource available, so a lot of our families are requesting food baskets for Christmas.”
If you’d like to fill the wish for a food basket, Young suggests stocking the basket with non-perishable items. She says it’s nice to add a little Christmas candy too.
[Heather]”Are you seeing more of a need for this, this year? We are, we’re seeing a huge need” says Young. “One of the things that’s really sad is that it’s no longer just about providing a Christmas present for the kids, but the families are actually asking us for food.”
Hate to shop? Young says you can still help.
“Sometimes people don’t want to shop; if they just want to make a monetary donation, I have some shoppers in the county that will take that money and a childs name and go fill that order and bring it back to us. This is a really fun thing, our shoppers really enjoy it.”
You can call the Family Resource Network at 304-799-6657 for more information about making a monetary donation. Young says they’re also accepting donations of cat and dog food and toys for the Pocahontas County Humane Society and the SPCA.
The Pocahontas County Free Libraries are also making a contribution to the FRN’s Christmas programs. Now through Christmas, you can provide peanut butter and jelly in lieu of overdue fines on library books – Young explains.
“The FRN’s done this for several years and it really stems from Karen Larson” says Young. “She had a really rough time in her life, and it was around Christmas one year somebody showed up and the only thing she had to feed them for dinner was peanut butter and jelly. And that’s really how it got started and it’s just a really good thing. You’d would be surprised how tickled those families are over that peanut butter and jelly.”
Young says all the peanut butter and jelly collected by the libraries will go back to the FRN for distribution to Pocahontas families. She says the Angel Tree program is one of her favorites.
“We try to serve everybody” she says “and some people do a lot, some people do a little, but it all counts. We have been able to serve about 256 kids for the last two years and it is just a wonderful thing.”
You have until December 20th to fill Angel Tree wishes. The party to distribute the gifts will be on December 22nd from 10 to 3:30pm at City National Bank in Marlinton.